Get Set For a Day At The Races

(Photo by Danny Martindale/Getty Images)

For a fun day out, a day at the races is hard to beat. It doesn’t matter if you’re having a special day out with your girlfriends, using it as a corporate entertainment venue, or going with the family, it’s always great entertainment.

Of course, the main focus is watching the races up close and personal, and to add that extra frisson of excitement to every race, having a bet on the horse you think is in with the best chance. These days, there’s no need to queue up at the betting ring – you can place bets on a mobile betting app with a couple of clicks. And you can always get the latest sports betting news on before you decide which horse you’re going to back.

Beyond the racing itself, there’s always a great atmosphere on race day, as everyone’s there for the same reason as you – to have fun, to socialize and to indulge in a bit of people-watching while they’re there. There’s usually a choice of different food outlets and places to have a few drinks. Depending on how you feel, you might sit down for a proper meal or eat ‘on the hoof’! Aside from the racing, there’s usually plenty of other entertainment – such as live music to listen to.


What To Wear

What you wear to a day at the races depends very much on the venue and the day you choose to go. For instance, if you go to watch the Queen’s Plate – the jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown – in July, you can go all out on the fancy outfit and fascinator, or another kind of hat. There are too few occasions to buy a fancy hat these days, but at a top-notch race such as the Queen’s Plate you’ll fit right in if you dress up to the nines.

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However, at most race courses these days, dress codes are rather more relaxed than they used to be. If you’re just going down to the local race track for a family day with the kids, then think comfortable casual rather than formal attire. If you’re in any doubt about a race track’s dress code, call and find out before you make your outfit choice.


Race day sometimes catches people out when it comes to footwear. At a mid-summer event such as the Canadian Derby, you might want to wear a lovely floaty summer dress and heels. But remember you’re going to be on your feet for a lot of the day, and you want to enjoy yourself, not be wishing you could take your shoes off or find a seat to rest your tired feet. So think practical and go for ballet flats unless you have a high tolerance for wearing heels.

Also be prepared for the fact that you’re outdoors for most of the day. Parasols are a great accessory in case it’s really hot and you want to stay in the shade, but on a summer’s day you might also need a shawl or scarf in case it gets a little bit breezy. It’s always worth checking the forecast just before you head off in case there’s any possibility of rain – you might just want to slip a pocket umbrella in your bag.

Really, though, once you’re at the races, your outfit will be the last thing you’re thinking about – you’ll be focused on having fun and watching the horses, and who knows, you might go home with a big win under your belt!